Rafael Nadal after sharing sad news: 'I have to be careful'
Despite doing his best to prepare, five-time champion Rafael Nadal will not play in Montreal next week. Rafa will skip one of his favorite tournaments for the second straight year after winning back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019. Thus, Nadal missed a chance to follow Ivan Lendl's record of six Canada Open trophies. Rafa injured his abdominal muscle at Wimbledon, and it got worse following that epic quarter-final victory over Taylor Fritz after four hours and 21 minutes. The Spaniard prevailed 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, but it proved an expensive effort. On the next day, Rafa checked the injury and found it was a seven-millimeter tear. Nadal decided to skip the semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios and miss a chance to fight for the third Wimbledon title. After enjoying himself with his friends and family for a couple of days, Nadal returned to the practice court, ensuring he kept everything under control and took care of his injury. After passing the baseline tests, Rafa started practicing his serve again, and it did not go well. The 22-time Major winner felt a slight discomfort in his abdomen again a couple of days ago and decided to skip Montreal and not risk anything. Nadal stated he is sorry for missing Montreal, hoping to play in Canada again in the upcoming years. The Spaniard has played eight tournaments in 2022 and leads the ATP Race ahead of his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz. Rafa conquered the Australian Open and Roland Garros to improve his tally and stand on 22 Major crowns. Rafael Nadal will not compete in Montreal, needing more time to recover. Also, he secured the ATP 500 crown in Acapulco before reaching the Indian Wells final. That remains Nadal's best Masters 1000 run in 2022, skipping Miami and Monte Carlo and failing to reach the semi-final in Madrid and Rome. Rafa will not chase the sixth Canada Open crown next week, leaving Ivan Lendl as the leader of the pack. Nadal claimed back-to-back Canada Masters titles in 2018 and 2019, beating the young guns Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev. Thus, he extended his incredible run at this event, starting with his first crown in 2005 at 19. "I hope to play again in Montreal, a tournament I love and have won five times in front of a crowd that has always welcomed me with great affection. I have no choice but to be careful at this point and think about health," Rafael Nadal said.